Friday, June 24, 2016

Floor tiles and patterns

When sourcing floor tiles there are a few basic rules that need to be taken into consideration. First step is to identify your budget, this is necessary in order to avoid disappointments later and it's helpful when it comes to the actual tile selection as it'll narrow down the choices which is always good!
 It is important to research all products available on the market and to look into materials, formats, patterns, designs and colours. Colour is generally a good starting point as it sets the tone and feel of a space. Neutrals have always been favoured over brighter hues simply because they suit most colour palettes and styles. Out of all neutrals grey is generally the colour that creates the most response to the eye and it has become quite a popular choice for both interiors and gardens. Grey is also popular with designers and architects as it works well with most schemes and is effective with most architectural styles and decors.

When it comes to materials the most popular ones for floor tiles are: stone, ceramic, slate, marble and granite. Stone (limestone and sandstone) is a popular choice, reason being it has a beautiful texture, it suits our coastal climate and works well with both modern and traditional architecture. It's widely used for walling as well as paving, and suits both country and coastal homes/buildings. Limestone is pale and smooth and suits a variety of applications, it's used a lot in residential projects both inside and out.

 Ceramic is one of the most popular materials out there, one that is not going to disappear for a while. Traditionally ceramic tiles are used in interiors, especially in  bathrooms and kitchens as they are easy to maintain and they are practical and durable. Patterns have made a come back lately and are a stunning way to inject personality into any space without breaking the bank.

If it's a more luxurious look you are after then marble and granite should definitely be at the top of your list. It's important to make sure that the material selected suits the application and that it can be sealed for durability if needed. Shopping around clarifies doubts and makes decisions easier so be sure you take your time and consider all options. Formats and patterns are also key to a design, generally bolder patterns are used in commercial applications (cafes and hotels) and can also make a striking feature in a residential project. Texture is also a great way to create visual interest and add tactility to a design.

 If you are shopping around for tiles, putting together a mood board will help you get the project started, collect some colour cards in the hue that you favour and some images from magazines (or online on pinterest and houzz), it will be useful when questions arise later. If you have any doubts and need help with editing or just feel overwhelmed by the whole process, it might be a good idea to hire an interior designer or decorator, it'll make it a far less stressful experience and (probably) a much quicker one. Whichever route you may decide to take just remember to have fun and enjoy the ride:)

Catch up soon,

Claudia x

Friday, June 10, 2016

Cosy up, winter is here!

The lifestyle edit
Beautiful room via TDF
Winter has finally arrived in all its glory here in Sydney and the time has come for us sydneysiders to bring out our winter warmers and enjoy the cosyness of our homes but how does the transition happen? Where do we start and how do we select the right pieces?

It all starts with colour...
The colour scheme is number one, colour evokes emotions in us and dictates the mood of a room, we can make a room feel instantly warmer and more inviting just by changing a few key pieces like cushions and accessories. In the colder months we can substitute cool colours and pretty pastels with warm, rich winter hues like reds, browns and dark greys. Once the colour scheme is sorted we can start to select our pieces. Putting a mood board together at this point is a great way to get things started, try and select a few images that you love, add some colour cards to your board and a couple of fabric samples if you like, it'll be a great point of reference and a great way to visualise your ideas.
Don't forget the floor...
The floor makes up a big portion of any space and it generally sets the tone of the whole room so it's important to take it into consideration. In winter we can add that extra bit of warmth under foot just by bringing out those rugs that may have been stored away during the warmer months (it's so lovely to walk on something warm and soft when it's cold!), roll them out and start to cosy up your space.
Note - If you are looking to purchase a new rug, make sure that you visit as many showrooms as possible and that you weigh up all your options. You also want to you see, touch and feel before committing to a piece - it may take a while to find the right one but it'll be worth it, think of it as art, it's an investment and a good quality rug will last for a very long time.
What about accessories...
Finishing touches and accessories can really make your personality shine in winter, you can be as bold or as subtle as you like when selecting cushions and blankets. To cosy up your beds and lounges simply add a couple of warm colourful or neutral blankets, layer them up for extra padding and extra warmth. Introduce texture to the space via a few tactile pieces - how about a velvet ottoman (or a gorgeous velvet lounge as pictured above) some knitted blankets, faux fur or patterned cushions? It'll be lovely.
What about materials...
In terms of materials timber is number one, nothing will warm up or soften a room like ceiling panelling and floor's the perfect choice if you love a relaxed and comfortable but still sophisticated look.
Play with fire...
If you have a fireplace start collecting some firewood and make the fireplace the real hero of your home by positioning your furniture around it and creating an inviting zone for both adults and children. Have some board games and a deck of cards handy for those rainy and cold days ahead, place a couple of ottomans near the lounge for extra seating and have a basket with extra blankets nearby for when your friends pop in. Books and candles will complete the look.

Don't forget the windows...
Windows should be dressed to keep the warmth in, curtains or blinds work well and suit most decors.
I also like to add a touch of metal...
Copper or brass are perfect for winter, it'll add interest and a lovely glow to any room...


Now you are all set to go, have fun changing things around and enjoy winter :)

"Let us love winter as it is the spring of genius" Pietro Aretino

Catch up soon

Claudia x